The industry is nearly unanimous in communicating that it places great importance on sustainability. Generally speaking, how serious do companies mean it?
There are still gaps between communication and achievement but companies now take the topic very seriously indeed. This is primarily due to the fact that sustainability issues already impact their bottom line and are vital to the future ability to meet customer and societal needs. For leading companies, sustainability is already a field where competition and innovation flourish. The benchmark will continue to be raised.
What exactly does the CSCP do?
We are a »Think and Do Tank« aiming to mainstream sustainability through a combination of research, advice and facilitation with different stakeholders. Our work is broadly split into three areas: sustainable products and services; sustainable business and entrepreneurship; and sustainable lifestyles. The ultimate goal is to support a sustainable society that lives well within our planet’s means.
You often work as an intermediary between the industry, civil society organizations and NGOs. How are you able to find common ground?
The emphasis on collaboration in our name is no coincidence. Our credibility to all stakeholders, including policy NGOs and research communities, comes from our neutrality, our non-profit status and our reputation for working towards joint solutions. This enables constructive dialogue and an atmosphere of trust. Ultimately, these groups share similar challenges but only when strategies are aligned can we achieve the scale of change needed.
What convinced you to collaborate with Clariant on the development of a sustainability screening process?
We are very careful with which companies we work. Our collaboration with Clariant made sense because their sustainability strategy matched key aspects of the philosophy at the CSCP of sustainable production and consumption. Firstly, this entails looking at sustainability issues holistically and across the entire value chain. Secondly, there is a willingness to engage with key stakeholders for collaborative solutions. And thirdly, Clariant views sustainability as an opportunity to create value as well as reducing impacts.
How does Clariant prove its commitment to sustainability so it’s not just a buzzword?
What is most important is that any approach to sustainability is built on a solid foundation. The EcoTain® label is part of a wider system at Clariant and the result of three years of cooperation and a large internal team. This took into account future societal trends, stakeholder issues, customer interviews and benchmarking of current best practice. Our case study publication on the system shows the depth of the tools developed.